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Happy new year, forum friends!

For those who design their own courses of study for DC, here are some helpful resources for the French Revolution:

https://www.studenthandouts.com/world-history/french-revolution/

Triumph and Terror, Steve Otfinoski (Facts on File World History Library) -- has many primary source quotes. Found it on abebooks for a reasonable price

The French Revolution, Horizon Caravel (the series was recommended by @8filltheheart - thank you, 8!) -- this one has fewer primary source quotes, but reads like a story. The authors do not hesitate to inject their own opinions and interpretations.  Nicely illulstrated. Out of print, but I found it on abebooks at a reasonable price.

PBS has a documentary on Marie Antoinette. I haven't viewed it yet, but put it on hold at the library.

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Excellent book of primary sources:

Voices of the French Revolution, Richard Cobb (editor)

 

Also, literature related to the time period:

The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy

Tale of Two Cities, Dickens

There is a Henty book set during the French Revolution, but DC didn't care for it.

 

List of various political groups (because there were so many, they kept shifting, and it's confusing):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_groups_in_the_French_Revolution

 

Essay Prompts:

https://sites.google.com/a/dcsdk12.org/drgoldbergancienthistory/announcements/french-revolution-test-essay-questions

https://alphahistory.com/frenchrevolution/french-revolution-essay-questions/

 

History Essay Writing Tips:

https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/writing-a-good-history-paper

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Camus wrote interestingly about the French Revolution in The Rebel. Possibly for high school! It's not exactly a history text.

Have you also recently covered the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment? (I'm not fishing 😉 , just curious if you're going chronologically too and interested in approaches after early/mid-elementary. We were until I recently decided to bail out of studying the 20th Century. We'll get back to it, but we're going to take a detour first.)

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Just chiming in to say that I used the Caravel French Revolution book this year -- thanks again to @8filltheheartfor recommending it. It was really great. Lots of vivid detail, plenty of opinionated views, great illustrations. 

I also had my son read "Why Not, Lafayette," by Jean Fritz, and The Story of Napoleon by HE Marshall. 

I really wanted to find a kids' book about the Haitian revolution and all I could find was a picture book: Haiti, the First Black Republic by Frantz Derenoncourt. If anyone has other suggestions I'd love them : )

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18 hours ago, Publia said:

Camus wrote interestingly about the French Revolution in The Rebel. Possibly for high school! It's not exactly a history text.

Have you also recently covered the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment? (I'm not fishing 😉 , just curious if you're going chronologically too and interested in approaches after early/mid-elementary. We were until I recently decided to bail out of studying the 20th Century. We'll get back to it, but we're going to take a detour first.)

DD covered the Protestant Reformation this past fall. I think Enlightenment would be good, but I think I’ll do it as part of the French Revolution. Yes, we’re going chronologically. We’re in our 2nd  4 year history cycle, and roughly covering the renaissance - early 1800s period. She’s been through SOTW once, so we’re going topical on this round.  We used OUP’s books in the previous 2 years but really did not like that series, hence the shift to Lucent history (and other) books this year.  

I’d be interested in hearing about your approach to history after mid-elementary!

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1 minute ago, Little Green Leaves said:

Just chiming in to say that I used the Caravel French Revolution book this year -- thanks again to @8filltheheartfor recommending it. It was really great. Lots of vivid detail, plenty of opinionated views, great illustrations. 

I also had my son read "Why Not, Lafayette," by Jean Fritz, and The Story of Napoleon by HE Marshall. 

I really wanted to find a kids' book about the Haitian revolution and all I could find was a picture book: Haiti, the First Black Republic by Frantz Derenoncourt. If anyone has other suggestions I'd love them : )

Thanks for these resources!

One book not directly centered on the Haitian revolution, but which provides a lot of great socio-political context, is Sugar Changed the World (Aronson and Budhos).  We did it as a read aloud over the summer, and my kids were riveted.

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5 minutes ago, JHLWTM said:

Thanks for these resources!

One book not directly centered on the Haitian revolution, but which provides a lot of great socio-political context, is Sugar Changed the World (Aronson and Budhos).  We did it as a read aloud over the summer, and my kids were riveted.

That looks really good -- thank you! I just requested it from the library.

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On 1/4/2021 at 7:18 PM, Publia said:

...just curious if you're going chronologically too and interested in approaches after early/mid-elementary.

I'm also interested in hearing how you approach history after elementary, Publia.  You have such interesting things to say.

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  • 1 month later...

First, I apologize for disappearing for a month! I hadn't intended to do that.

Second, I should have made clear that we’re only on the home stretch of mid-elementary (oldest is 10/would be in fourth grade), so I’m trying to get our bearings for the next year/four years. 😉

To this point, I’ve viewed our history studies as more of a supplement to our literary ones. We follow the spirit more than the letter of TWTM, but one of the things I really appreciate about TWTM approach is that the “cycle” concept has imposed helpful discipline on our reading.

As for the next round, I had thought my designs would be largely literary too, at least for the next few years. JHLWTM’s excellent posts have me rethinking that emphasis because I see the value in upping the ante on assessment of historical events in the near term, and I think my son would enjoy that. I’ve been slowly working on building out an outline of history for the next four years. I think we’ll forge ahead with a collection of topical books and literature from the relevant periods and finally make a real effort to have him build a timeline/outline in a binder. I’m still thinking through the writing component. It will probably look like a continuation of the daily short writing assignments he’s doing this year, which frequently feature historical topics (he picks the topic). I’ve noticed that those are occasionally moving into more analytical territory, so perhaps we can use the history studies to sharpen that some this year. I think we will probably spend more time reading various perspectives and debating things before we get into full-blown essays on historical topics.

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On 1/5/2021 at 4:08 PM, JHLWTM said:

Thanks for these resources!

One book not directly centered on the Haitian revolution, but which provides a lot of great socio-political context, is Sugar Changed the World (Aronson and Budhos).  We did it as a read aloud over the summer, and my kids were riveted.

We are really enjoying Sugar Changed the World -- thanks for recommending it! 

Not related to the French revolution but on the theme of teaching history to upper elementary -- we're reading Growing Up in Coal Country, which is a slightly different approach to history than we've done before. It's a great account of the lives of coal miners, but I also love the way it weaves in lots of first-hand accounts of people's lives. 

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welcome back, @Publia

Over the years, I've become less focused on trying to integrate literature and history. There was a great thread a few years back focusing on great literature, and not trying to match lit to a given historical period. That thread made so much sense to me.  Now, we focus on "stretch lit," lit that might be too hard (or too boring) for the kids to read on their own, but stuff they can handle / wrestle with if they have my guidance / input. The lit selections that usually appear on booklists matching certain historical periods tend to be titles that my kids would read on their own anyway, so I bump those to free reading.

I love the WTM idea of cycling through history. The approach provides a structure and accountability so that the student could have a great sense of the broad sweep of human history, and a great set of historical event "pegs" which can serve as points of reference for future study. After going through SOTW once as the initial overview (the systematic, study a little of everything approach), we've now moved more to a topical approach, focusing in depth on a few topics for longer lengths of time.  SOTW provided that contextual framework that enables these in depth studies to make more sense.

I don't think there is a right or wrong way to approach history or lit, this is just what is working for DD. DS is still wrapping up his first pass through SOTW.

By the way, The PBS documentary on Marie Antoinette is probably best saved for high school or beyond. There are a lot of references (the entire first chapter, plus additional references later) to the early, ahem, marital issues that initially kept them from having children.

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